US stocks rise in shaky trading, led by utilities

The Chinese governments report confirmed that the worlds second-largest economy is slowing, as annual growth hit a 25-year low in 2015. That can affect demand for everything from energy to metals to consumer goods and heavy machinery. Fears about a slowdown in China, and how abrupt and painful it might be, has helped knock oil prices to 12-year lows.

Safe-play stocks like utilities and telecommunications companies rose the most. ATT added 52 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $34.51 and NextEra Energy gained $2.55, or 2.4 percent, to $107.81. Consumer goods maker Procter Gamble, the maker of Tide detergent and Charmin toilet paper, gained $1.75, or 2.3 percent, to $76.73.

US crude fell 96 cents, or 3.3 percent, to close at $28.46 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose 21 cents to close at $28.76 a barrel in London.

Energy stocks continued to fall on concerns about reduced worldwide demand. Chesapeake Energy lost 48 cents, or 13.5 percent, to $3.08. Marathon Oil fell 46 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $7.68.

The price of gold fell $1.60 to $1,089.10 an ounce. Silver rose 22.5 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $14.121 an ounce. Copper gained 3.4 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $1.978 a pound. Gold miner Newmont Mining lost $1.39, or 7.9 percent, to $16.31 and copper producer Freeport-McMoRan gave up 39 cents, or 9 percent, to $3.96. Freeport-McMoRan shares have skidded 41.5 percent in 2016.

Delta Air Lines reported a bigger fourth-quarter profit because of falling fuel prices. Delta said it expects fuel to be even less expensive in the first quarter. Its shares rose $1.46, or 3.3 percent, to $45.96. Health insurer UnitedHealth Group posted stronger-than-expected results in the fourth quarter. Its stock rose $3.31, or 3 percent, to $112.58.

Netflix surged aftermarket as the companys net income surpassed analyst forecasts and its international subscriber growth was stronger than Netflix had expected. Netflixs stock surged 8 percent in extended trading to $116.75.

Jewelry retailer Tiffany fell after reporting that sales dropped in the fourth quarter and said it will eliminate some jobs. The company also forecast minimal earnings and sales growth in 2016. The stock lost $3.43, or 5.1 percent, to $64.22.

So far not a single US company has gone public this year, according to Kathy Smith of Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO-focused exchange-traded funds. That should change this week, as Elevate Capital, which offers credit and related services to people with below-average credit, is expected to start trading Friday. But Smith said only two companies will go public this month. There were also just two IPOs in December, the fewest in any month since October 2011.

The IPO market is pretty close to being closed, Smith said.

Companies are reluctant to go public when the market is weak, and the companies that did go public last year werent rewarded for it: Smith says the companies that completed their IPOs in 2015 are down an average of 17 percent from their offering prices.

Frances CAC 40 rose 2 percent and Germanys DAX added 1.5 percent. Britains FTSE 100 gained 1.7 percent. Chinas Shanghai Composite surged 3.2 percent and Hong Kongs Hang Seng gained 2.1 percent. Japans Nikkei 225 inched up 0.5 percent.

The US dollar slipped to 117.44 yen from 117.50 yen on Monday. The euro rose to $1.0923 from $1.0885. Bond prices slipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which has slumped this year, rose to 2.05 percent from at 2.04 percent.

In other trading of energy futures, the price of wholesale gasoline inched up 0.5 cents to $1.026 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2.6 cents to 90.9 cents a gallon. Natural gas slipped 0.9 cents to $2.091 per 1,000 cubic feet.

___

Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay

Stocks Rise after Weak China GDP Growth Report

Fears about a slowdown in China, and how abrupt and painful it might be, has helped knock oil prices to 12-year lows.

Fall in oil prices pulled mostly energy stocks to the red territory across Asian markets. Chesapeake Energy lost 27 cents, or 7.6 per cent, to $3.29. Santos Ltd stock fell 7.46% on Australian screen, while Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd closed down 4.68% at Japan stock market.

US gold for February delivery GCcv1 fell $1.60 to settle at $1,089.10 an ounce.

The Chinese yuan rose 0.6 percent in the offshore trade to 6.5808 to the dollar, however, as Chinese authorities continued to stamp down speculative yuan selling. The SP 500 added 10.05 points, or 0.53%, to 1,890.38 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 23.35 points, or 0.52%, to 4,511.77.

Financial stocks in the SP 500 were up 1.6 per cent, leading the index higher.

Tommy Xie, economist at OCBC Bank in Singapore, said he expected more stimulus from the Chinese central bank, but that the stability of the yuan, also known as the renminbi, was critical to maintaining growth.

Bank of America also reported a rise in fourth-quarter profit, though revenue came in below analysts expectations. Delta expects fuel to be even less expensive in the first quarter. Europes Stoxx 600 index tumbled more than 3 percent, while shares in Hong Kong dove sharply to three-year lows.

The volatile Shanghai Composite Index was up 3.2 per cent Tuesday, bringing losses for the year down to 15 per cent. The Standard Poors 500 index added four points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,885.

Corporate earnings are garnering more attention as investors weigh the health of the USA economy. That should change this week, as Elevate Capital, which offers credit and related services to people with below-average credit, is expected to start trading Friday.

Equity markets have managed to recover some momentum and are once again looking for gains following the rumours of further possible stimulus being on its way from China, said analyst Jameel Ahmad at trading firm FXTM.

Companies are reluctant to go public when the market is weak, and the companies that did go public previous year werent rewarded for it: Smith says the companies that completed their IPOs in 2015 are down an average of 17 percent from their offering prices.

Jan 19 (Reuters) – Wall Street ended flat after a choppy session on Tuesday as falling oil prices led to more carnage in energy stocks and an in line economic report showed slower growth in China. While growth in China continues to slow down, the results calmed investors who thought conditions might get worse.

With household incomes up by seven per cent, and online retails sales growing by 33 per cent past year, China represents a lucrative market for British business.

In the eurozone, Frances global steel titan Arcelor Mittal leapt 5.8 percent in Paris, while Germanys industrial giant Thyssenkrupp gained 0.5 percent in value. Japans Nikkei 225 stayed the same, inching down 0.02 percent to 16,952.85. The euro barely rose against the dollar, to $1.0909.

The International Energy Agency said Tuesday that production outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would fall in 2016 due to spending cuts, but much of the decline would be offset by an increase in Iranian production.

The FTSEurofirst 300 fell 2.8 per cent, set for its biggest single session loss of an already turbulent 2016. However, today, the index had slipped into the red and was trading at 2,966.66, down 1.37%.

Klopp says Benteke has a long-term future at Liverpool
They must be – after all, the FA Cup is a real mans competition. So I think he had a few good moments and thats how it is.

Moody’s assigns Aa3 to Kentucky’s $10M first mortgage refunding revenue bonds …

Kentucky has $7.9B of lease-appropriation debt outstanding

New York, November 30, 2015 —

Moodys Rating

Issue: First Mortgage Refunding Revenue Bonds (Justice Center Project),
Series 2015; Rating: Aa3; Sale Amount: $10,000,000;
Expected Sale Date: 12-04-2015; Rating Description:
Lease Rental: Appropriation

Opinion

Moodys Investors Service has assigned a Aa3 rating to $10.0
million Laurel County, Kentucky Judicial Center Public Properties
Corporation First Mortgage Refunding Revenue Bonds (Justice Center Project)
Series 2015. The bonds are expected to price on or around December
2.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

The rating is based on the credit quality of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
(issuer rating of Aa2, stable), the subject-to-appropriation
nature of the payments supporting the bonds, and the commonwealths
significant reliance on appropriation-backed financings to fund
capital investments.

The rating also reflects Kentuckys record of proactive financial control
and an economy that has benefited from auto sector recovery. Low
per-capita income levels, above-average state debt
and very large unfunded pension liabilities contribute to a below-average
credit profile compared to most other states.

OUTLOOK

Kentuckys outlook is stable based on the expectation it will continue
to manage its finances responsibly and work to improve the financing of
teacher pensions, against a background of continued below-average
state economic growth.

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO UP

-Sustained economic and revenue growth, with structural balance
in state finances and limited reliance on non-recurring resources

-Build-up and maintenance of reserves

-Significant improvement in pension funding levels

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO DOWN

-Sustained economic slowing, resulting in weaker revenue
performance that strains commonwealth finances

-Depletion of reserves with no replenishment, or indications
of strained liquidity

-Continued trend of negative GAAP basis ending balances,
or continued reliance on non-recurring resources, particularly
use of additional deficit financing, to balance the commonwealths
budget

-Failure to address declining pension system funded levels

OBLIGOR PROFILE

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has a population of 4.4 million people
and a gross state product of $150 billion. It has a large
and diverse economy, but relatively low wealth levels.

The commonwealth has a four-tiered court system called the Court
of Justice that includes the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals,
circuit courts and district courts. The Administrative Office of
the Courts (AOC) serves as the staff for the Court of Justice, administered
by the Commonwealths Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. AOCs
duties include, among other things, providing offices and
court space for the entire court system and dispersing and maintaining
supplies and equipment. The Court of Justice is funded through
appropriations from Kentuckys General Assembly and represents approximately
3% of the total General Fund.

The Laurel County, Kentucky Judicial Center Public Properties Corporation
is a nonprofit, non-stock public and governmental corporation
organized and existing under the law of the Commonwealth. The corporations
principal purpose is to act as an agency and instrumentality of the county
in the planning, promotion, development, financing and
acquisition by the corporation for and on behalf of the county of public
improvements and public projects for the county.

LEGAL SECURITY

PAYMENTS FOR DEBT SERVICE PROVIDED UNDER BIENNIALLY RENEWABLE LEASE

The bonds are payable solely from lease rental payments from the commonwealths
Administrative Office of the Courts under a lease agreement, as
supplemented, with the corporation. Per the lease,
AOC is obligated to make rental payments, including payment of a
Use Allowance equal to debt service and an Operating Costs Allowance
payment to cover operating costs.

AOC is obligated to make semi-annual rental payments of the Use
Allowance directly to the trustee two business days prior to the debt
service payment due dates. The Operating Costs Allowance payment
is made to the county. Rental payments are made pursuant to the
terms of the lease agreement, which is automatically renewable for
successive biennial periods unless terminated in writing by AOC.

AOC covenants in the lease to seek sufficient legislative appropriations
to make rental payments for each biennial period. The General Assembly
has no obligation to make appropriations for rental payments, and
AOC has no obligation to renew the lease. Under the Mortgage Deed
of Trust, a foreclosable mortgage lien on the project has been granted
to the trustee. In addition, the interests of the corporation
in the lease (excluding the Operating Costs Allowance) have been assigned
to the trustee. In the event of a default on the bonds, the
trustee may sell or re-let the facility to benefit bondholders.

The lease may be amended to reduce AOCs use of the facility and,
correspondingly, reduce its required rental payments. Any
such amendment, however, would be contingent on the countys
assumption of the reduced portion and confirmation by Moodys that the
outstanding rating on the bonds would not be withdrawn or downgraded as
a result of the amendment.

LEASE PERMITS ABATEMENT, RENTAL CREDITS

Should the project be destroyed or damaged such that it is rendered unusable
by AOC, rental payments may be abated until AOC regains use of the
project. As protection against such an event, rental interruption
insurance sufficient to cover twenty-four months of debt service
is required per the lease. In addition, the lease provides
for an assessment of whether or not the project could be sufficiently
renovated in twenty-four months. If the project cannot be
repaired within twenty-four months of the date of damage to the
point that it is sufficiently of use to AOC that AOC will make rental
payments, insurance proceeds will be used to discharge the bonds.
Per the lease, casualty insurance is provided at full replacement
value of the project.

Certain rental credits are permitted if AOC incurs operating costs in
performing maintenance or other functions that are the obligation of the
county under the lease. These credits, however, may
only be taken against the Operating Costs Allowance, which AOC pays
to the county for operating costs.

USE OF PROCEEDS

The bonds are being issued to partially advance refund the Laurel County,
Kentucky Judicial Center Public Properties Corporation First Mortgage
Revenue Bonds (Justice Center Project) Series 2008. The refunding
plan is being undertaken to provide interest cost savings to the county
and the AOC.

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in this rating was The Fundamentals of
Credit Analysis for Lease-Backed Municipal Obligations published
in December 2011. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com
for a copy of this methodology.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series
or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings
are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moodys
rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular
rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the
support providers credit rating. For provisional ratings,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive
rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt,
in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed
prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would
have affected the rating. For further information please see the
ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit
rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating
review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to
the lead rating analyst and to the Moodys legal entity that has issued
the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com
for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Anne Cosgrove
Vice President – Senior Analyst
Public Finance Group
Moodys Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
USA.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Emily Raimes
VP – Sr Credit Officer/Manager
Public Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moodys Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
USA.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moodys assigns Aa3 to Kentuckys $10M first mortgage refunding revenue bonds, issued by Laurel County (KY) Judicial Center Public Properties Corp.; outlook stable

Moody’s assigns Aa3 to Kentucky’s $9.1M first mortgage revenue refunding bonds …

Kentucky has $7.9B of lease-appropriation debt outstanding

New York, December 09, 2015 —

Moodys Rating

Issue: First Mortgage Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2016
(Justice Center Project); Rating: Aa3; Sale Amount:
$9,080,000; Expected Sale Date: 12/16/2015;
Rating Description: Lease Rental: Appropriation

Opinion

Moodys Investors Service has assigned a Aa3 rating to $9.1
million Grant County, Kentucky Public Properties Corporations first
mortgage revenue refunding bonds (Justice Center Project) Series 2016.
The bonds are expected to price on or around December 16.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

The rating is based on the credit quality of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
(issuer rating of Aa2, stable), the subject-to-appropriation
nature of the payments supporting the bonds, and the commonwealths
significant reliance on appropriation-backed financings to fund
capital investments.

The rating also reflects Kentuckys record of proactive financial control
and an economy that has benefitted from auto sector recovery. Low
per-capita income levels, above-average state debt
and very large unfunded pension liabilities contribute to a below-average
credit profile compared to most other states.

OUTLOOK

Kentuckys outlook is stable based on the expectation it will continue
to manage its finances responsibly and work to improve the financing of
teacher pensions, against a background of continued below-average
state economic growth.

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO UP

-Sustained economic and revenue growth, with structural balance
in state finances and limited reliance on non-recurring resources

-Build-up and maintenance of reserves

-Significant improvement in pension funding levels

WHAT COULD MAKE THE RATING GO DOWN

-Sustained economic slowing, resulting in weaker revenue
performance that strains commonwealth finances

-Depletion of reserves with no replenishment, or indications
of strained liquidity

-Continued trend of negative GAAP basis ending balances,
or continued reliance on non-recurring resources, particularly
use of additional deficit financing, to balance the commonwealths
budget

-Failure to address declining pension system funded levels

OBLIGOR PROFILE

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has a population of 4.4 million people
and a gross state product of $150 billion. It has a large
and diverse economy, but relatively low wealth levels.

The commonwealth has a four-tiered court system called the Court
of Justice that includes the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals,
circuit courts and district courts. The Administrative Office of
the Courts (AOC) serves as the staff for the Court of Justice, administered
by the Commonwealths Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. AOCs
duties include, among other things, providing offices and
court space for the entire court system and dispersing and maintaining
supplies and equipment. The Court of Justice is funded through
appropriations from Kentuckys General Assembly and represents approximately
3% of the total General Fund.

Grant County, Kentucky Public Properties Corporation is a nonprofit,
non-stock public and governmental corporation organized and existing
under the law of the Commonwealth. The corporations principal
purpose is to act as an agency and instrumentality of the county in the
planning, promotion, development, financing and acquisition
by the corporation for and on behalf of the county of public improvements
and public projects for the county.

LEGAL SECURITY

PAYMENTS FOR DEBT SERVICE PROVIDED UNDER BIENNIALLY RENEWABLE LEASE

The bonds are payable solely from lease rental payments from the commonwealths
Administrative Office of the Courts under a lease agreement, as
supplemented, with the corporation. Per the lease,
AOC is obligated to make rental payments, including payment of a
Use Allowance equal to debt service and an Operating Costs Allowance
payment to cover operating costs.

AOC is obligated to make semi-annual rental payments of the Use
Allowance directly to the trustee two business days prior to the debt
service payment due dates. The Operating Costs Allowance payment
is made to the county. Rental payments are made pursuant to the
terms of the lease agreement, which is automatically renewable for
successive biennial periods unless terminated in writing by AOC.

AOC covenants in the lease to seek sufficient legislative appropriations
to make rental payments for each biennial period. The General Assembly
has no obligation to make appropriations for rental payments, and
AOC has no obligation to renew the lease. Under the Mortgage Deed
of Trust, a foreclosable first mortgage lien on the project has
been granted to the trustee. In addition, the interests of
the corporation in the lease (excluding the Operating Costs Allowance)
have been assigned to the trustee. In the event of a default on
the bonds, the trustee may sell or re-let the facility to
benefit bondholders.

The lease may be amended to reduce AOCs use of the facility and,
correspondingly, reduce its required rental payments. Any
such amendment, however, would be contingent on the countys
assumption of the reduced portion and confirmation by Moodys that the
outstanding rating on the bonds would not be withdrawn or downgraded as
a result of the amendment.

LEASE PERMITS ABATEMENT, RENTAL CREDITS

Should the project be destroyed or damaged such that it is rendered unusable
by AOC, rental payments may be abated until AOC regains use of the
project. As protection against such an event, rental interruption
insurance sufficient to cover twenty-four months of debt service
is required per the lease. In addition, the lease provides
for an assessment of whether or not the project could be sufficiently
renovated in twenty-four months. If the project cannot be
repaired within twenty-four months of the date of damage to the
point that it is sufficiently of use to AOC that AOC will make rental
payments, insurance proceeds will be used to discharge the bonds.
Per the lease, casualty insurance is provided at full replacement
value of the project.

Certain rental credits are permitted if AOC incurs operating costs in
performing maintenance or other functions that are the obligation of the
county under the lease. These credits, however, may
only be taken against the Operating Costs Allowance, which AOC pays
to the county for operating costs.

USE OF PROCEEDS

The bonds are being issued to advance refund the Grant County, Kentucky
Public Properties Corporation first mortgage revenue bonds (Justice Center
Project) Series 2007. The refunding plan is being undertaken to
provide interest cost savings to the county and the AOC.

RATING METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in this rating was The Fundamentals of
Credit Analysis for Lease-Backed Municipal Obligations published
in December 2011. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com
for a copy of this methodology.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series
or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings
are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moodys
rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular
rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the
support providers credit rating. For provisional ratings,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive
rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt,
in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed
prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would
have affected the rating. For further information please see the
ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit
rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating
review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to
the lead rating analyst and to the Moodys legal entity that has issued
the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com
for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Anne Cosgrove
Vice President – Senior Analyst
Public Finance Group
Moodys Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
USA.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Emily Raimes
VP – Sr Credit Officer/Manager
Public Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moodys Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
USA.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moodys assigns Aa3 to Kentuckys $9.1M first mortgage revenue refunding bonds (Justice Center Project), issued by Grant County, Kentucky Public Properties Corp.; outlook stable